Scooter Guy

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  1. Sorry...nope, it’s not the Doodle Bug scooter taillight. 


    The one in your photo is for a Whizzer. The two prongs on the back are like that to fit a bicycle fender and the piece that extends from the bottom (with the screw in it) bolts to the bottom center of a bicycle fender. 


    The taillight and license plate bracket unit for a Doodle Bug is not a Bendix, by the way. Bendix only had a generator and headlight for the Doodle Bug scooter which was just an automotive fog lamp fitted with a handlebar clamp. The taillight used with the Bendix kit was usually a Nu-Ray Jr. The Doodle Bug version of the taillight you have is actually a Do-Ray taillight. It could be used with the Bendix generator and headlight, but there was a Do-Ray headlight available also to match  (plus a Make-a-Lite set that used a battery). 


    Yours is similar (I have one also) but not the same as the Do-Ray unit for a Doodle Bug. 

  2. Hi Shelley,


    That is, in fact, a Doodle Bug scooter but it has undergone many changes over the years with lots of bits and pieces being stripped or broken off. 


    It is actually fairly common to see them in this kind of condition. The sheet metal pieces (front fender, rear fender, side panels) are almost always gone as are the original gas tank and mounting brackets. In addition, your particular scooter also has had the motor plate and the floor board modified and your engine was replaced with a much newer model. There are other non-original parts on this such as the grips, hand controls and tires - but again, that's quite common. 


    Most of what you have is simply representative of how the scooters were modified over the years to keep them on the road long after the original components were worn out or broken. It can all be fixed.


    One word of warning, however, before you go too deep into this. The front end of your scooter is probably bent. It does not appear that you would have adequate clearance between the front fender and the (missing) correct floor board if you were to restore this. This is a very common problem with these scooters as they were typically ridden by young people that crashed them, raced them, and generally just beat them up and literally "loved them to death." This, too, can be fixed, if you really want to take a deep dive into this. 


    Please don't take this as a criticism of what you have. What you have on your hands is typical of a small 70+ year old scooter. It's cool that you've got it and are doing something with it!

  3. Most insurance companies (even Geico, Allstate, State Farm, Progressive, etc., etc.) will sell you insurance for whatever vehicle you want, so long as you are willing to pay their price for it. There are always exceptions, but I have never not been offered a quote from an insurance company when interested in buying insurance.


    But...not all policies are created equal and you need to know what you're buying. Your choice of specific policy has a direct correlation to what happens when you have a claim. That is, in my opinion, more important than what company's name you're buying from. 


    Also, one thing to watch out for: "stated value" (some companies call this "declared value") is not the same as "agreed value" to most insurance companies. I know some people that have gone through a lot of heartache because they didn't know the difference when they filed a claim. Stated value is where your policy starts, at a value you state to the insurance company. But stated value policies factor in depreciation and when you file a claim you can end up with the stated value amount or actual cash value (ACV being what it is worth at the time of the claim) - but that amount will be whichever is less, as determined by the insurance company. Agreed value is what most collectors want and what is often confused for stated value insurance. With agreed value, you and the insurance company agreed on a guaranteed value for the vehicle and that amount will be paid by the insurance company in the event of a total loss. 


    At the end of the day, make sure you understand what type of policy you are buying so you know what happens when there is a claim. 

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  4. Interesting topic.


    My wife has spent her career in the museum business as a curator at a well-known museum. It is very common for people to misunderstand loans to museums vs. donations to museums. A lot of people think of a museum as being the "forever" home of whatever they are be maintained and displayed literally forever and then get upset when they learn that is not the case. A good museum will make sure the donor understands that up front:


    When an object is donated, be it a car or a fountain pen, it's donated - as in you gave it away and relinquished ownership. I'm sure someone can cite an exception, but generally speaking a museum will not accept a donation that comes in with a bunch of strings attached or donor stipulations. If you still want control over "your" object, it's best not to donate it at all and museums often have to tell potential donors that. Loans for a specified display period work better for those people that want to retain control of their objects and where they end up.  


    Don't confuse a museum for a caretaker in perpetuity, either. That's not something that they can promise, and if they do, donors should be wary. Objects do get sold and traded off on occasion. Museums do go out of business or hit financial hard times that require liquidating assets which can mean selling what you've donated. They are not vaults with unlimited resources to care for your donated things forever.  

    • Like 4

  5. Email the new owner of Fox Grips, Mike, at 


    He has posted his name and email publicly here, so I'm not sharing private contact information: 


    He has the mold for the Doodle Bug grips you need and can make them in white, as per original. 


    It does not seem that a website ever materialized. Most of the business seems to be running through eBay. 

  6. Jonny D - 

    You have your gas tank mounted correctly. It is supposed to sit high, up at the back of the seat like that. There are factory photos and manuals that show this. It does still "work" if the tank is mounted lower, with the brackets being upside down and I see a lot of scooters like that, but it is supposed to be mounted high and the tank tucked in close. 


    The stripe of the side covers is just over 1/8" wide, but not quite 3/16". Nobody will probably ever take a ruler to your side cover to check, but if you really want it accurate, that's the measurement to go for.


    Your question about the decals is really a great question. I have studied this for years trying to determine what was originally done and what is correct. The only conclusion I have from all of that is that they were very inconsistent and there were constant changes, thus many variations in what decals were applied and where. There are original scooters and factory photos and publications showing almost every configuration possible. It seems that many, but not all, Doodle Bugs had the Doodle Bug logo on only the left hand side. The only consistent thing about the Doodle Bug logo is that the "bug" always faced forward, towards the front of the scooter. On the right hand side was usually, but not always, where the Hiawatha or Western Flyer decal went (was not usually on the left, but not always!). Some Clinton powered scooters came with black tanks, some came with red tanks (mounting brackets were always red, even with a black tank). Some Clinton tanks had decals on the ends, some didn't (this was also true of Briggs tanks). Basically unless you know what the original paint looked like, you can restore yours in virtually any decal configuration and it won't ever be "wrong." 


    Speaking of side covers, you should have small holes on each side for the choke rod. Both side panels should have this. The choke rod for Clinton powered scooters comes out of the left side of the scooter and is a a wire with loop on the end, almost like a coat hanger. The choke rod for a Briggs powered scooter comes out the right side and has a small knob at the end of it (the choke rod on real61ss' scooter is actually a Briggs rod). Most of the side panels also had hole on the right side for the switch to be mounted when using an accessory lighting kit. There was often (but not always!) an aluminum plug used to fill that hole that could be removed if installing a lighting kit. The hole ends up smack in the middle of the Doodle Bug logo!


  7. I think you need to decide what business you want to be in...


    1. Real estate developer (which means building the facility then actually selling the garages/condos)

    2. Landlord (you own it and collect rent for the spaces)

    3. Shop owner (restoration, repair, car wash, whatever...)

    4. Museum operator 

    5. Race track operator

    6. Restaurant operator

    7. Events center operator


    My opinion is that a lot of these concepts fail because there is no focus and the facility is trying to do all of those things at the same time with limited knowledge of most of the various lines of business. It can be done, but the phrase "Jack of all trades, master of none" comes to mind. 


    Personally I see the model used at M1 Concourse to be the best approach - SELL the garage units to individuals thus transferring risk to them (insurance, liability, security, etc.) and then offer shared spaces like the track, skid pad, picnic area for RENT but with blackout periods for garage owner use exclusively. That seems like a much more manageable, and likely sustainable, approach to such a facility. 



  8. There is a facility just south of Fort Worth, Texas called the Motorsports Ranch. 


    It seems to be nearly exactly the sort of thing you're talking about. They have a private road course (two actually), a skid pad, clubhouse, garages (13 buildings worth), and private on-site support businesses of different sorts. There are (apparently separate, third-party?) some stand-alone track side houses available there also. Their website has a lot of information on what they have to offer and what their fee structure is. They don't have a museum, but they seem to check just about every other box that you mentioned. 


    It took A LOT of time and money to get this facility to where it is today. A LOT. It did not happen overnight, rather it took years to develop the facility. If you are serious about pursuing a similar concept, my suggestion is to go visit this facility and try to get them to answer as many questions as you can think of. I don't intend to discourage you but think part of your market research should be to see what your competition has to offer and how they run their operations. They seem to be more "track centric" and with more of a motor sports focus, so less about the garages themselves, but that might be an important take-away for you to consider.I am not a member there but have seen their facility. 

  9. Jim, 


    That Crosley powered scooter is wild. I've had folks send me photos of it before, but it didn't yet have the side car. I had always been told that it wasn't rideable because there was no "transmission" to get the power from the engine to the rear wheels, but clearly that's not the case and the owner figured something out. I'd love to examine it up close to see exactly how he did it. Doesn't offend me at all, by the way. I can certainly appreciate the time, effort, and craftsmanship that goes into a custom or hot rod. My personal tastes tend to be more "purist", but more so than that I'm just a "scooter guy" and like 'em all! 

  10. On 12/29/2018 at 8:32 PM, Jonnyd said:

     My question is about the white striping around the edges of the side panels' are they paint or are they done with tape and also the striping on the front fender.








    As far as I can tell from closely examining the scooters and original parts that I have, the white stripe along the edges of the side skirts was painted on with striping wheel. It does not appear to be tape, but it's very hard to tell on my original scooters. If it was tape it is extremely thin tape and was applied very, very precisely (all things considered). But it sure looks like it was painted on to me. The front fender, on the other hand, appears to have been done with water slide decals. I do know that the "Hiawatha" or "Western Flyer" decals along with the Doodle Bug logo were originally water slide decals. 


    On the Doodle Bugs that I have restored, I have painted on the white side skirt stripe and use a reproduction decal set to do the front fender. Note that on the fender there are two stylized stripes on each side and one that it at the top center of the fender. Some folks miss that 5th stripe that is there. I use reproduction decals from Jim Lovelace or He sells a lot of eBay, but has reproductions available of all of the Doodle Bug decals, not all of which are always listed on eBay.  Some of what is available from him is because he originally made up a few sets for my restorations. They are not water slide, but no matter...I'm REALLY picky - his decals are nice. 


    That's a nice Model B (Clinton powered scooter) you have. Can't wait to see what it looks like as you get it finished up. It looks good so far!

  11. There have been more than 50,000 views of this thread since originally posted in 2009. Impressive, I'd say. 


    I believe many people have been able to identify, save, or restore their scooters using information posted here to get themselves started. 


    Nothing has been added to this post in just over three years, so it seemed to be time to check in on any new developments. I remain happy to discuss Doodle Bugs and share the information that I have. I'm still buying stuff, too, if you're just wanting to sell your Doodle Bug stuff. 

  12. Wow, I'm sorry to see this.  First, I certainly hope that nobody was injured or killed in the fire. 


    With that said, I suppose the Indian could be saved, but every single surface would need attention. It would certainly be a committed restoration. 


    The Toppers may still have some usable bits for the hardcore Topper guy (that's not me), but saving any of them would be a monumental restoration. I'm not saying it isn't "worth it" to save them, but the cost of parts and restoration on those scooters will easily exceed their value. There are usually a few nice Toppers each year that come up for sale for someone that's looking for one that's complete. These may be best served as parts bikes for someone that's trying to finish a couple of their own. 

  13. You may be interested to know that there has been a Firebaugh that has been for sale for a couple of years in the Vintage Motor Bike Club magazine. Purportedly from the Melody Ranch of Gene Autry and Western movies fame. I have seen that same scooter posted for sale on eBay at different times, too. There is a copy of the for sale ad on the Firebaugh page of the US Scooter Museum (not really a place, just a website). That's probably where you got the photos you posted, as they have identical images posted on their site.See:  Firebaugh - US Scooter Museum


    The Vintage Motor Bike Club meet in Portland, Indiana has had a couple of these there over the years. They are not common, but aren't highly sought after by the scooter and motorcycle collecting crowd. Definitely interesting machines and worth saving, especially for $35. 

  14. Ok, you've taken major exception to my use of the word "splitting." You could substitute "discontinuing our relationship and financial support" (to use your words) for my choice of word: "splitting." By "splitting" I meant that the two entities are going their separate ways and that the relationship, whatever it was, has been discontinued. I understand that the club and museum were always separate entities legally and in operation, but when a "relationship" and "financial support" is discontinued after a period of years, that can move can be construed as "splitting" which is what I said. I don't really think it's a stretch to get "splitting" out of what's going on, but clearly we disagree on that point.  


    If you go back and re-read what I posted, you'll see that I was not critical of the decision itself, of the AACA board, the AACA Museum board, or of the club at a whole. I made no comment on any of those topics. My post was to point out that I think having the AACA name attached to a non-affiliated, separate entity (meaning the museum) is misleading NOW considering the turn of events. Further I suggested that a name change for the museum would clarify the difference between the two, the museum and the club. I personally DO think it is misleading for the museum to be the AACA Museum if there is no connection, financial or otherwise, to the AACA club. That is just my opinion. I understand the origin of the name; that wasn't the point of my posting at all. Do I really think it will change? No, I don't. 


    I understand the need and desire to expand AACA's facility and library. That's fine, too. I also made no comment on that whatsoever. I get that the funds previously directed to the museum can be redirected to that project. Makes sense. Again, my posting was only addressing "AACA" being used within the museum's name when it is clearly the acronym of the club. 


    I guess that all of this is to say that I stand by my original statement and I don't really think that the dressing down I got here was warranted at all. 


    I had not logged in here since September. Like you said, nothing changes. I clearly haven't missed much. 

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  15. Velocity Channel isn't perfect but it's better than 99% of TV offerings. 


    I don't have cable or satellite TV. I do have an Apple TV which works as a streaming device via my internet connection. It lets me pick and choose what I want to watch as if every show was pay-per-view. I can buy one episode or even an entire season for a fraction of what it would cost to have premium cable or satellite TV in order to get Velocity Channel. It is easy to pick what I want to see and skip the terrible shows and fake drama and so on. 


    As for all of the contempt  for Chasing Classic Cars...well, I like the show. Wayne has a neat facility, neat/good employees, the funds to support his business (read as: buy almost whatever he wants), and he has a TV show about all of it to boot. It's a business, he's a businessman, and the show is about his business. I think I'd enjoy being in his shoes, quite frankly. Seems pretty neat. 


    I'm less enthusiastic about other shows, but do like watching Restoration Garage (the Guild show). I skip virtually everything else. 


  16. Interesting situation here...


    If the AACA is splitting with the museum, why in the world does the museum get to be "AACA Museum" by name if they are not affiliated?!?! Being unaffiliated, the very use of AACA in the name "AACA Museum" is flat-out misleading. And it's not as if the acronym "AACA" stands for anything other than Antique Automobile Club of America in this case. Honestly, it almost seems to me like the museum name should be modified to clearly differentiate between the museum and the club. I doubt that will happen, but if they are going to be independent and not under the AACA club umbrella, they should forge a new identify and, in turn, the club should move on. 

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  17. The one you have, by the way, is the higher-end model: it has telescopic front forks. 


    It appears that the lever to raise and lower the engine might be missing. It sticks out from the top of the plastic cowl on the back and lays flat against the top of it. The lever itself guessed it...plastic, so lots of them broke. Otherwise, you seem to have a really nice one on your hands. Definitely worth a little tinkering to get it up and running. They are very slow (like 15mph) but they're fun to ride around on.   

  18. Interesting to see this. There were several models of AMF Roadmaster mopeds available in the late 1970s to early 1980s. I have several mopeds among my collection of "stuff" including two of these in orange (I also have JC Penney Pinto -made by Puch, as mentioned by another member). What is interesting about the AMF Roadmaster is the unusual design - a rear mounted engine with a friction drive for the rear wheel. The popular (famous?) French Velo-Solex was also a friction drive moped, but it was mounted on the front wheel. Several add-to-your-bicycle kits were available, too, and they all used front wheel friction drive. 


    These were about the cheapest moped you could buy at the time, but I believe these were the ONLY American made moped during the height of the moped craze in the late 1970s. They were marketed as an alternative for folks that wanted a moped but couldn't afford the European import brands like Puch, Kreidler, or Vespa. Parts that would be metal on a Puch are plastic on the AMF, same goes for finish: plated parts on a Puch are plastic on an AMF. They used a McColloch engines, so engine parts are fairly easy to come by. The moped specific parts were cheaply made and mostly plastic, so they have not survived the test of time very well...they are difficult to find. The best way to get those is to buy another bike to use for parts.  


    There is zero connection to Harley Davidson except that these were made by AMF while they, as the parent company, owned Harley-Davidson. 

  19. Jnberg-

    I'm glad that you posted photos. It is indeed a Doodle Bug and appears to be a Model B with the Clinton engine. I suspect that it is a "real" Model B, as in one originally manufactured with the Clinton engine, but that can be verified by checking the frame's serial tag. It should say 1046B on it indicating it was "born" as a Model B that left the factory with the Clinton engine. This scooter does have the right gas tank and style of tank brackets for a Clinton motor. There should also be a "dip" in the engine mounting plate, at the front, right at the floor board and under the oil drain plug.

    It is quite complete, but there are some things to be aware of. Please don't take this as criticism or think that I'm knocking down this scooter. I own worse and have saved worse! In terms of completeness, you are missing more than just the belt guard in terms of the sheet metal parts: both the right and left side covers are also missing. Those parts are all available as superior reproductions from Yesterdays Rides Metalworks (Don Jackson). The most significant missing part is the fluid drive clutch (oil filled centrifugal clutch - look like a big aluminum mushroom) - those are hard to find and expensive parts when they do turn up. As far as I am aware those have not ever been reproduced. The Clinton kick starter assembly is missing (which includes a ratcheting starter gear) - the rope start cup is incorrect. Who knows why that was done 68 years ago. Reproduction kick start assemblies are also available from Don Jackson. You also need the air cleaner (flat Simplex mesh air cleaner) and you need the muffler with the flex pipe on it. Both of those pieces are reproduced by Don Jackson.

    In terms of incorrect items that are there, I see a number of those things as well. There should not be a hand control lever on the left side of the scooter at all. Someone added that for some reason (probably a brake) which means that there is probably a home-brew brake mechanism (or at least linkage) that I can't see very well in the photos. This means that the handlebars would need to be repaired to fix the hole. Otherwise, it's all fairly small stuff: the floor board rubber ribbing (and attachment method) is not correct, the kill switch isn't correct, the handlebar clamp is backwards (and isn't where a "real" Doodle Bug headlight would mount but I see why they did that).

    Perhaps most significantly, just by looking at the photos of the side profile of the scooter, I am almost certain the the frame is bent. What I'm seeing is that the front fork tube has been pushed in towards the rest of the scooter. When this happens, the front wheel and front fender get too close to the floor board. Often the front fender will hit the floor board when turning in a reasonable radius...that isn't supposed to happen. Yours is not as bad as some I've seen, but your scooter has definitely taken some front end hits that tweaked the frame a bit. It can be fixed - it's not cheap or easy, but if you REALLY want to save it and have the frame absolutely arrow straight to factory specs, call Don Jackson at Yesterdays Rides Metalworks in Oregon. He has a frame jig and can get your frame back to factory specs. Some new steel is will likely be involved in the process, but most of what you have looks salvageable.

    It's hard to tell if the scooter is just dusty or if there is a lot of surface rust there, but it looks like most of the original paint is pretty much gone. Still, it's pretty neat to find some so well intact after all of those years. I feel that it's at the point where it should be restored. The good news is while pretty much EVERY surface will have to be touched, you will not have to purchase very many of the major components at all. If you are interested in keeping it and/or restoring it, my suggestion would be to get in touch with Don Jackson at Yesterdays Rides Metalworks in Oregon. You can find his website via Google. It's best to call as he's fairly "old school" and not much of a computer guy (his daughter will answer emails after a few days but if you have questions or want to order something, call).

    Oh...I almost forgot...Clinton Doodle Bugs (the model B) were made in very limited numbers (1000, thought most think 650-750, tops). Beam Manufacturing company when to the Clinton due to the short supply of Briggs & Stratton NP engines (as used on the other 39,000~ Doodle Bugs). It is said that the Briggs engines were cheaper for Beam to purchase in large lots than the Clinton, but the biggest reason for the short run with Clinton was due to lubrication problems. The early Clintons had an oil pump in them driven by the cam. The problem was that the the pump was rounding off the cam lobes which starved the engine of oil. Many of them "blew up" in the hands of unsuspecting owners. I'm not sure if there was a official recall, but I know that Clinton ended up switching to a splash system with an oil dipper instead and completely scrapping the idea of using an oil pump. The dipper proved to be far more reliable, but the damage was done and Beam went back to Briggs as soon as they could.

  20. I recently found a doodle bug scooter missing only the seat and chain gaurd .curious about how much it's worth .its been sitting in a shed for along long time

    Please post a photo of your find or a link to it. Please know that I do not offer public appraisals but would love to see it.

    Value completely depends on condition and originality. If you just want to flip it, list it on eBay and see what happens. There is a collector market for good scooters and parts that are original and in good condition.